An Analysis on the Factors Affecting the Development of the Cable Television Industry in the United States, 1969-2010 *

By Chung, Jin Won | Development and Society, September 2018 | Go to article overview

An Analysis on the Factors Affecting the Development of the Cable Television Industry in the United States, 1969-2010 *


Chung, Jin Won, Development and Society


(ProQuest: ... denotes formula omitted.)

Introduction

Only a few decades ago, the United States only had three or four television channels available - all of them being broadcast. At the time, it might have been difficult to imagine that hundreds of commercial cable networks would be available and compete with broadcast television networks to attract viewers. In contrast, those who subscribe to cable television today may take numerous channel options for granted. Some people, especially those who have lived in cable subscribing households all their lives, may have trouble distinguishing between broadcast television and cable television. Technically, broadcast television is provided by the public airwaves that are radiated into space from station transmitters to receiving antennas whereas cable television is provided by a cable operator via underground cable. However, the difference is not confined by technological aspect. They also defer in terms of business models and revenue streams, as well as regulations that apply to them.

How, then, did cable television emerge, and how has it developed to its current state? Some media scholars argue that most media technologies come on the scene to improve the functions that are already served by existing media (Mullen 2003). Cable television started as a response to the physical limitations of broadcast television signals. Because broadcast signals are not only limited in their ability to travel long distances from their origination site but also are susceptible to interference from such things as severe weather and mountainous terrain, cable television was created so that people in areas where broadcast signals hardly reached could enjoy watching television retransmission (Crandall and Furchtgott-Roth 1996; Mullen 2008). It worked in a way that a tall antenna, known as a community antenna, was installed in areas with good reception, such as a hilltop, picked up broadcast signals and then retransmitted them through a coaxial cable to those households that could not receive clear signals. Indeed, the primary function of cable television service had been a retransmission of the signals of broadcasting station until the 1970s (Parsons and Frieden 1998). However, cable television has since evolved into a major player in an increasingly dynamic media industry.

Cable television in the United States has developed within a frequently changing policy environment. In the early years of cable television, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a regulatory agency charged with regulating communications, refused to regulate the industry because it thought the cable television was a stopgap technology that would eventually disappear as more broadcast television stations established; in its view, cable television would not pose any threat to the broadcast television industry. After the late 1960s, however, FCC regulations appeared that were meant to protect the interests of broadcast television as the cable television system began to spread. Later regulations then grew more conducive to the companies engaged in cable television-particularly with the deregulation of recent decades. In the face of such changes, the U.S. cable industry experienced dramatic growth.

While much social science research has addressed various cultural industries, there is a surprising dearth of research addressing cable television industry. This dearth is unfortunate given the complexities of that cultural industry: it started as a stopgap mechanism for relaying the programming of broadcast TV networks, however it has evolved to provide its own original programming via emergent cable networks like HBO, CNN and ESPN that would take away the audiences that once hegemonic broadcast networks had enjoyed. The dearth of scholarship is also likely due to the difficulties of gathering sufficient data by which to make sense of the dramatic change that unfolded over a few decades. This study fills a notable gap in the literature by taking the cable television industry as a focal industry. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

An Analysis on the Factors Affecting the Development of the Cable Television Industry in the United States, 1969-2010 *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.